Team Europe will be looking to regain the Ryder Cup after a record-breaking defeat to Team USA at Whistling Straits in 2021; Watch all three days from Marco Simone GC exclusively live from 6am on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford in Rome
Last Updated: 26/09/23 11:13am
European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald provided some big hints on his potential pairings by using some familiar groups for Tuesday’s practice round in Rome.
Donald took all 12 of his line-up for a practice session at Marco Simone Golf Club earlier this month ahead of the BMW PGA Championship, where he also requested all-Ryder Cup groups in the draw for the first two rounds of the Rolex Series event.
Many of the pairings used for the scouting mission in Rome were also put together later that week at Wentworth, with Tuesday’s practice seeing some familiar match-ups used again.
“We do have a plan in place and that plan can be adjusted throughout the next few days,” Donald said in Tuesday’s press conference. “The vice captains are out there watching the players and seeing how they look and how they feel and all that goes into it. But yeah, there’s certainly a plan that is in place.
“I’ve had multiple conversations with everyone about potential pairings, but nothing is set in stone yet.”
Jon Rahm went out in the same group as Tyrrell Hatton, having partnered the Englishman in the Friday fourballs at the 2021 Ryder Cup, played together in Rome and also put together in the first two rounds at Wentworth.
Completing that group were Norway’s Viktor Hovland and Swedish rookie Ludvig Åberg, who also played together during the BMW PGA Championship this month and have been identified as a possible pairing.
Rory McIlroy went out in a fourball including Ireland’s Shane Lowry, with that pairing also used during the Friday fourballs in 2021, while Tommy Fleetwood and Sepp Straka – who were in a threeball with Lowy at Wentworth – also in that group.
Straka was also in the game group with Lowry for the Rome practice round, ahead of his Ryder Cup debut this week, while Justin Rose and Robert MacIntyre – who were also together earlier this month – put together in Tuesday’s round.
Tuesday’s practice pairings
Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Sepp Straka (Aut), Shane Lowry (Irl), Rory McIlroy (NIrl)
Live Ryder Cup Golf
September 28, 2023, 3:00pm
Jon Rahm (Esp), Viktor Hovland (Nor), Tyrell Hatton (Eng), Ludvig Aberg (Swe)
Matt Fitzpatrick (Eng), Justin Rose (Eng), Robert MacIntyre (Sco), Nicolai Hojgaard (Den)
What about Team USA?
Jordan Spieth went out in group A for Team USA alongside Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, the three who missed the USA’s own scouting trip to Rome at the start of this month, with Justin Thomas completing that fourball.
Spieth and Thomas have partnered each other in the past two Ryder Cups and formed an unbeaten partnership in last year’s Presidents Cup, while Cantlay and Schauffele won both foursomes matches together in the 2021 Ryder Cup victory.
Collin Morikawa and Rickie Fowler went out in Group B with rookies Brian Harman and Max Homa, while world No 1 Scottie Scheffler was joined by Brooks Koepka, Wyndham Clark and Sam Burns.
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